Chapter 1: Introduction
Travelers crossing the wheat-yellow plains to Dungatar Australia would first notice a dark blot shimmering at the edge of flatness. further down the Asphalt,the shape would first notice emerge as a hill on top of that hill sat a shabby brown weatherboard.leaning provocatively on the grassy curve.it looked as if it was about to fall down,but it was roped down onto a solid chimney by thick-limbed wisteria.When passengers approached Dungatar by the train felt the carriage warp around the slow southward curve, as they glanced up through the window and saw the tumbling brown house.One winter night Tilli Dunnage searched for the light from her mothers house through the windscreen of a greyhound bus.She recently had written a letter for her mother but she didn't receive no reply she summoned the courage to phone.the curt voice at the telephone exchanged had said,Molly Dunnage hasn't had a phone in years she wouldn't know what a phone was, 'i wrote' said Tilli she didn't reply or perhaps she didn't receive my letter. ,old mad Molly wouldn't know what to do with a letter either came the retort
Tilli decided to go back to Dungatar.
Sergent Farrat patted his policeman's cap,picked a thread from his label and saluted his neat refection.He drove around dunnatar.the locals were subdued and the men asleep,for there was a chance of victory the next the next day on the football field.
He stopped in his car in the main street to peruse the buildings,silver -roofed and smokey.Fog tiptoed around the buildings,muffled conversations wondered from station hotel.
A Greyhound bus rumbled and hissed to a sudden stand-still outside dunnatar's post office,its headlights illuminating Sergeants Farrat's pale face. 'A Passenger'? he said aloud.The door swung open and the glow from the interior beam struggled out.A slim young woman stepped out.her hair was lush about her shoulders,and she wore a beret and an unusually red cut overcoat.The drive pulled out a suitcase from the luggage boot and carried it over to the post office porch,leaving it in the dark corner,he went back for another and another and then he pulled out something out-something with a domed cover with 'singer' printed in gold letters across its side.The passenger stood holding it looking over to the creek then up down the street.'Oh my pretty hat,Said Sergent Farrat,and shot from his car.She heard the door slam.so she turned on her heel and headed west,towards the Hill.Behind her the bus roared away but she could hear footsteps approaching behind her.
Tilli quickened her pace so did Sergent Farrat he looked at her fine boots-Italian? he wondered.'Tilli let me help you.' She walked on ignoring him.you're come from Melbourne have you? Sergent Farrat trying to strike up a conversation.'yes' Tilli answered flatly. they walked down passing Tilli's Old school. she heard the childhood screams cries of Friday afternoon softball games and shrieks and splashes from the school swimming carnivals in the creek.Memories of been driven to the bus stop all those years ago by the same
man rose up,and the knot in her stomach turned.Finally they made it upto the hill,Tilli just stood there staring at her old home.'does anyone know your coming Till? said Sergent Farrat.
'Call me Tilli'she said 'Everyone will know soon enough'.Tilli looked at Sergent Farrat,'How is my mother'?
'your mother never comes outside these days'he said walking off. Molly's house was dank and smelled like possum piss. Tilli felt along the dusty wall for light switch and turned it on,past the crusty old lounge sweet. to the fireplace.she put her hand into the ash.it was stone cold. Tilli made her way over to Her mum's room.turning the doorknob and pushing the door wide open.
'this is what there done to you?' A mitten stiff and soiled came from under the blankets.Molly looked at her skinny wrist.'its half past four', she said At dawn she sighed and raised a glass to the small grey town and went inside.she evicted snug families of mice from between the towels in the linen press and spiders from there lace homes under light shades.She swept dust,dirt,twigs and a dead sparrow from the bath and turned on the tap to scrub it.the water ran cold and brown and then it flowed clear and hot,she filled the bath and then added some lavender flowers from the garden.She tugged her mother out of her bed and into the bath,She cursed and screamed at Tillli but soon tired and folded easily into the water. Tilli stripped the beds and when the sun was high she dragged out the mattresses on the grass to bake.later she tucked molly's scrawly frame back into her bed tilli continued cleaning the house. she cleaned out the stove,gathered kindling from the garden and lit a fire and started throwing useless things outside.
First chapter complete!
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